A Sister Weekend in Savannah
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Do you ever think about how your whole life could have turned out differently if you’d changed just one single decision? You know, like a butterfly flaps its wings in… oh wait, they already made a movie about that. Well whatever.
The point is, once upon a time, I got into my top two art school choices, Savannah College of Art and Design and Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, and at seventeen I had to decide if I wanted to be a city slicker or a southern belle. Despite my mom’s heavy campaigning for the Georgia side of things (influenced moreso by her desire for a warm winter getaway than anything to do with poor Pratt), New York City was calling my name, and I gave Savannah a pass.
I hadn’t returned to the city since my one and only visit, when my mom brought me down on a whirlwind trip to try to sway me towards SCAD. So when Travel + Leisure recruited me to visit and create some video content for their World’s Best City campaign, I was thrilled to get to revisit a version of life as it could have been.
Want the full story behind our four days in Savannah? Read on for our full three night sisters in Savannah tour.
Where To Stay in Savannah
Kimpton Brice Hotel
While Savannah is chock full of charming B&Bs, the modern Southern boutique hotels that are popping up are far more our style. On my first trip, I’d stayed with my mom at the Mansion on Forsyth Park and loved it. Olivia and I decided to try something new, and checked into the Kimpton Brice — and yes, the free-flowing happy hours certainly did have something do with it.
With chic rooms, a great onsite restaurant, a central location, free bike rentals, a well equipped gym, a relaxing pool — and did I mention the free-flowing happy hour? — there’s little more you could ask for in a hotel.
We were so busy running around exploring Savannah and getting footage, we didn’t have much time relaxing at the hotel. But we really loved our room as a place to relax and recharge before getting ready to burst out the next morning and do it all again.
Our Savannah Itinerary
Sunset at The Wyld
After settling into our chic hotel, we headed out for sunset and dinner at The Wyld Dock Bar. While it was about a fifteen minute Lyft ride out of the city center, it was well worth it — we couldn’t have asked for a better place to shock our systems out of frenetic northeast settings and into slow, sweet southern mode.
With bocce, a fire pit, and plenty of porch swings, you couldn’t ask for a sweeter setting to spend an early summer afternoon. But the food and cocktails are well worth lingering for dinner for. Make a reservation, but don’t sweat asking for anything specific — there’s not a bad seat in the house.
As the sun set and the fireflies came out, we toasted to the kickoff of summer.
Pampering at Poseidon Spa
The next day, it was time to explore! Olivia and I feel strongly that every sister weekend should include a spa element — we once went to a spa all-inclusive, and didn’t leave the property the whole time — and so Olivia had hopped on Groupon ahead of our trip and reserved us a morning at Poseidon Spa. After a healthy breakfast at the Kimpton Brice, we strolled through Savannah, ready to relax!
Poseidon Spa is actually the onsite spa at the Mansion on Forsyth Park , so being there brought back tons of memories from my first trip. After a quick workout we settled in for our choice of a massage or facial with either a hot stone enhancement or a collagen eye or scalp treatment, plus champagne. Score!
While the facilities were limited, it’s a very cool spa inside a very funky hotel in front of a lovely park — ergo, not a bad choice for a morning of pampering in the city.
Lunch at Sandfly BBQ
After such a refined morning, we knew of only one way to reset the scales: pig out at Sandfly BBQ at The Streamliner. I mean, I couldn’t leave Georgia without some pulled pork! We loved this converted diner, a central outpost of the super popular Sandfly Barbeque, much further afield.
We sat at the counter and split a platter — which was more than enough food and then some! Great food, big portions, down-home setting — it was the perfect counter-balance to some of the fancier, hipper meals we had this trip.
Strolling Through Scenic Savannah
Next up? Walking off all that cornbread! Savannah reminds me a lot of New Orleans in that the main attraction isn’t really an attraction — it’s just the atmosphere. We loved walking around, getting lost — in conversation and in geographic location — and oohing and aahing over the pastel houses, blooming flowers, and seemingly perfect photo backdrops everywhere we turned.
Honestly, “scenic strolling,” along with eating and drinking, is basically all you need to plan to have a successful Savannah trip.
Museum and Craft Bar Hopping
We decided to dedicate day three of our trip to “doing things” as opposed to simply, “eating things,” “drinking things,” and “walking by things.” Ambitious, I know! On our itinerary? The SCAD Museum, The Prohibition Museum, and, in that vein, a few local distilleries.
But first, coffee. (Well, tea for me.) We had a delicious breakfast at The Coffee Fox, apparently a popular local favorite, before hitting the streets.
The SCAD Museum was… not our favorite. Let’s just say there were a lot of art school jokes being thrown around by someone who’s been there and done that (AKA: me.) My lack of enthusiasm may have also had to do with the fact that I’d been slowly fading throughout our Savannah trip, with Olivia giving me increasing doses of side-eye and suggesting that perhaps I had an ailment beyond travel fatigue.
When I finally gave in and walked to a central urgent care clinic, the nurse (a) asked me how I’d been managing to walk upright (b) told me that my strep throat was so severe it was spreading to my ears — literally — and (c) asked if she could show another staff member on duty, since it was the most severe case she’d ever seen. Ha ha? What can I say — the show must go on.
The Prohibition Museum, on the other hand, was fascinating — stay tuned for a full post on Savannah’s prohibition past, and it’s craft cocktail future.
Dinner at The Grey
Man, time flies when you’re shooting b-roll and having fun! For our final dinner in Savannah, we we couldn’t have picked a more perfect spot than The Grey, a former Greyhound bus station converted into one of Savannah’s hippest and hardest-to-get dinner reservations.
We started with a drink in the bar before moving into the main dining room for our meal, a move I can’t recommend more highly — both spaces had unique menus and designs that made them worthy of a visit. It was a uniquely Savannah night — the perfect note to toast to our trip on.
Biking and Brunch
We had a mid-day flight on day four of our trip, so we made the most of our final hours by taking Kimpton Brice’s free bikes and going for a spin. Our destination? A mimosa brunch at The Collins Quarter, widely recommended to me by those who apparently know me very well.
Biking around Savannah was just beautiful. These mossy squares and lush parks were just made to explore on two wheels, and it was nice to work up a slight non-humidity related sweat before gorging ourselves one last time.
While I can’t say that I have the fondness for Savannah that I do for, say New Orleans or Nashville or other Southern cities I’ve visited, this was the perfect sister getaway (minus the strep throat, of course!) Also, because I am insane, it gives me a weird thrill to get to go back and blog about destinations that I visited before I started blogging. Yes, I have some compulsive box checking tendencies!
And while it was fun walking around and wondering what my life would be like now had I chosen to spend four years in this city, I felt at peace knowing my heart is up north — and I’ve got a true New York state of mind.
Have you been to Savannah?
So many memories! I lived in Savannah for three years many moons ago- a block off Forsyth at Whitaker and Duffy. One of my favorite cities ever- if there had been career opportunities beyond the teaching I was doing, I would have stayed!!!
Aw! Glad this brought back lovely memories for you <3
You hit all the highlights! I need to go back myself. Next time you’re in the area 1. holler at me and I’ll come meet up and 2. check out the islands nearby! There are some incredible spots. St. Simon’s and Jekyll are favorites.
I was DYING to go to the beach this trip! We just ran out of time. Please take me next time I return 🙂 I actually don’t think I realized you were right there!
I think this is one of the most magical cities and it has captured my heart from the very 1st time I visited.
You lived there at one point, right? You always live in the best cities.
Must have been lovely visiting with your sister… Love seeing your videos. Please do more!
Aw, thanks Janice. It’s something I need to practice, I think!
Okay this is wild! You’re my favorite travel blogger, we have the same birthday… and I went to SCAD!
First of all, awwwww, and second of all, how cool! We could have been classmates in another life 🙂
The American South looks really appealing to me. I really have to plan a trip there one day. I can’t believe I’ve only been to New York in the US!
I have SO much more of it to explore. Some of my best friends are considering a move to Charleston — I really look forward to visiting them there!
Love the video–and adore the music it’s set to! Would you mind sharing the name/group? Thanks!! : )
Hey Melissa! Funny story, it’s my high school boyfriends’ music that he generously supplied for the project 🙂 He’s Dusty G on Spotify or Dark Forest NYC on Facebook!
Awesome trip. You and your sister look stunning. Could you compare Savannah vs Atlanta? I’ve been thinking about spending a week in Georgia but don’t know which one I should pick.
They are totally different vibes — Atlanta is a huge skyscraper metropolis and Savannah is more cobblestone charm!
Savannah is probably the one place in Georgia that really calls out to me, I think because it seems like it has a different vibe. I love to be able to go back and experience what life would be like if I had made different choices. Also, like you, I definitely love to go back and revisit places. One of my recent ones was to Key West (first time there I was around 11, went back a few years ago) and it was awesome to see how similar things were.
I keep meaning to go back to my list of countries I’ve visited and tally up how many times I’ve been to each of them 🙂 With somewhere like Thailand, I don’t even think I could count! I just love going back over and over again to certain special spots.
I fell in love with Savannah the moment I stepped foot into that incredible city! I’m so in love with it I even love it’s cemeteries!! 🙂 The parks and the fountains are just heavenly as are the shops, people, the food…the art! I could go on forever!! We also stayed at the Kimpton Brice for our trip last March. Can’t wait to go back!
I need to go check out more of the South because I have so little to compare it to, but at the moment I do think Savannah is number one in the rankings!